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V SKETCH 




29th REGIMENT 



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RV I. J. HILL 



A Full Account of its Formation; of all the Battles through 
which it passed, and its final Disbandmont, 



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BALTIMORE: 

PlUNTKD l'.V I).\UOIIRR.TY, MAOUIRK & Co 

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A SKETCH 



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BY J. J. HILL, 



A Full Account of its Formation; of all the Battles through 
which it passed, and its final Disbandment. 



BALTIMORE : 
Printed by Daugtikrtv. Maguire & Co. 






1 

•2 









PREFACE 



The author of this has for a long time been greatly concerned foi 

this land and nation, and for the human family in general, but more 
particularly for the unfortunate African, both in this and every other 
part of the world. I was born in Selings Grove, Union County, Pa . 
in the year L^2G, the 2nd day of June, and was the youngest son of 
lour brothers. My father's name was Isaac, and my mother's. Rachel. 
The family consisted of thirteen in number. My father being a poor 
man, I was put out to a gentleman of Louisville, Kentucky, at the ag< 
of six years; T was brought up with a limited education, not being 
permitted to go to school, for it was against the laws of the State for 
a white person to teach a colored child ; but having kind friends t' 
live with and being beloved by white boys, I gained some information 
in spelling, and with diligent study I learned to read and write. I 
never had the opportunity of going to school a day in my life, when it 
became known to the citizens that I could jj^f write. I was sent home 
to Pennsylvania in the year 1840. then 17 years of age. I embraced 
religion in the year 184G. 

I was called to the ministry in the year 1S5.J, in which position I 
studied: when the war broke out in 1861, I went out with the 3rd 
Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Col. Emory, I was in the charge at Falls 
Church, Va., and Fairfax Court House. When the rumor reached 
me that the Government was enlisting colored men, I then left the 
Regiment and went home, and in I860 culisted in the 29th Connecti- 
cut Regiment, January the 7th, 1863. 

The author's desire and prayer is, that tranquility, peace and happi- 
ness may cover the earth, as the waters cover the great deep. For- 
asmuch as there has been a great deal of confusion in relation to my 
afflicted nation, and different parties holding opposite opinions hav< 
come forward with a desire to alleviate their condition ; their good 



intentions have taught us: First, thai it is accessary to become chris- 
tians, to love and fear God and keep \\'\> commandments, to have pa- 
tience and faith in oui Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then wc shall b< 
delivered in due time Secondly, the reader is referred to the pi 
of this work; please read it impartially and carefully, and you will sec 
plainly that the author's sole aim is to promote the happiness of the 
human family, here and hereafter; therefore, 1 pray that those who 
will read this book may be forever blessed in this world, and receiv< 
endless happiness in the world to come 

4 i BILL 
Wbodbui v .Y. .A rscy, i S66 



Til E 

PRINCIPAL BATTLES 

OF THE 

TffENTY-NINTH REGIMENT, 
(J STATES COLORED TROOPS 



DEE1 J no', toM. \\\ 
2d STRAUSBURG PLAIN, \ A 
3rd PETERSBURG, VA 
HIi NEW MARKET ROAD, V A 
5tb L'ORT GILMOR, VA. . 
6tb CHAFFIN'S FARMS, VA 
Jth DARBYTOWN ROAD, VA 

RICHMOND, VA 
'HI. TEXAS BXPEDIT] 



< '"i \\ I; Woi ■ ■ ' led u ho had d f< ar thci 

• i ni ill- 29tli Volunti ' ' 



A SKETCH 



!9th Connecticut Colored Regiment. 



The 29th Connecticut Colored Regiment was gotten up by Colonel 
Pardee, and encampted at Crape Vine Point, New Haven, Connecti- 
cut. The recruiting was commenced in August, 1863. The induce- 
ments held out to men to join this Regiment were these : they were to 
receive a bounty of $310 from the State, $75 from the County from 
which they enlisted, and $300 from the United States. The $310 
from the State we received, the other bounties we did not receive. 

There were several men who took an active part in recruiting for 
this Regiment, among them Lieutenant Brown of New York, to whom 
great credit is due. There were others, both colored and white, who 
did very much towards filling up the Regiment. Sergeant Archie 
Howard, Orderly of Company C, recruited more men than any other 
excepting Lieut. Brown, but I am sorry to say, that after all he did 
the parties failed to pay him according to promise, and he was ordered 
to his Regiment without receiving a just compensation for his labors. 

The first of January, 1804, the 29th Regiment was filled up. The 
writer of this narrative was in the last squad of men that enlisted for 
this Regiment, and out of the forty men I was the only one that was 
admitted into the 29th, the balance of the recruits being put into the 
30th Regiment, that was then recruiting in the same camp. We re- 
mained at New Haven until the 8th of March, and nothing of interest 
happened up to that date, when we received orders from Colonel 
Pardee's Headquarters, stating that the 29th Regiment was to move to 
Annapolis, Maryland. 

March 8, 1864. We broke camp to leave New Haven for Annapolis, 
Md. At 10 o'clock the whole Regiment was drawn up on the old parade 
ground, with their knapsacks, to receive the flag, Col. W. B. Wooster 
in command. The flag was presented by the Rev. Dr. Mytt. On ac- 
count of the Regiment not receiving the $75 which was promised them 



it their enlistment, they made no response to the presentation, and the 
Colonel gave them no command to do so. The order was given to 
"forward, march," and the Regiment paraded through the principal 
\ . Haven; at 2 o'clock it halted in the public square, where 
visited by our friends, also by 9omi of the first families in the 
After resting two hum-;-, the word was given "attention," and 
every Company was brought into line, and at the command "forward 
march," the Reghm nl mi ?ed down Chapel street to State st., and then 
to the long wharf, where it halted and awaited the near approach of 
the transport, that was still out in the stream. At 5 o'clock thi 
troops commenced embarking, Company A taking the lead, and at 
balfpast 6 o'clock all were on board, excepting a few, with the writer 
if this journal, who were detailed for duty at the Regiment's previous 
headquarters. On ray way (torn the long wharf I met the crowd of 
sitizens that was not permitted to go to the wharf with the Regimenl 
Never did my ears hear, or my eyes perceive, or my heart feel the 
strong yearnings of nature as they did at that moment ; mother's weep- 
for their sons, and wives for their husbands, and sisters for theii 
brothers, and friend.- for their friends, that were then on their way to 
the scene of conflict. White and colored ladies and gentlemen grasped 
me by the hand, with tears streaming down their cheeks, and bid me 

I bye, expressing the hope that we might have a safe return. M\ 

bcart felt the 3obbing impulse for the first time, and although I had 
.i" mother, ne wife, and no Bisters (Jiere to greet me, yet strangers 
ministered unto me, and never shall 1 forget their kind attentions to 
in.- At - o'clock in the evening I went on board the transport, and 
received an introduction to Col. Woostcr as Regimental Orderly Bill. 
The Colonel mot me very kindly, and put his state-room, which wa 
fiter K , into my care, 

At LO o'clock 1 learnt the transport would not move anchor until 
next morning at 6 o'clock; after gaining this information, I had a d 
ire i" go ashore, but could form no excuse for doing bo While I was 
■n doubt what to do about it, one of the officers, Lieut. Leonard, came 
to me and .-aid. "Orderly Bill, can't you go to the post office for mi 
i I can't go ashore " Mj answer was, " I will try and go for you.' 
I had ni d to tin Colonel, and felt somewhat delicate about 

ipproaching him, but a- 1 had never been refused a favor by d com- 
manding officer, I took bcart, adopting for my motto, "Without n 
trial, there can bo no denial," and started for tho Colonel, and found 
bim in hi- berth 1 said, 'Colonel, can I go aBhore?" Be rc- 
■I It I grant you permission, except on business, others will 
i l h ■:', . lotto n i" earn to the poi t 



9 

office." Ho said, " Well, you can go." I left him, and went to Lieut. 
Leonard, of company D, and asked for Dr. Bigbec, whose family was 
living in New Haven. The lieutenant passed him outside the guards 
with me, and we felt it to be a great favor, for which we were very 
grateful. When my errand was done, we proceeded to the residence 
of Dr. Bigbec, and found his wife had retired, but on learning who 
had arrived she arose, and a friend who was stopping with her, and 
they prepared us a good supper. We enjoyed it — still we were sad- 
dened with the thought that wc might not meet again for three long 
years. We remained there until 2 o'clock, and then bid the last fare- 
well to our friends in New Haven, and went on board the transport 
again, and laid down to sleep, but sleep had fled from me entirely, 
and daylight found me as I laid down, wide awake. Sabbath morning 
at G o'clock, wc weighed anchor, and the stream bore us down its 
rapid tide until New Haven was lost in the distance. The day was 
spent very pleasantly, and at 3 o'clock we passed New York ; and as 
we passed the city, our drummers assembled on deck and played, at 
which flags were displayed by the citizens, and cheers given in re- 
sponse. At 12 o'clock, the same night, we passed Cape May. 

I fared the same as the officers. . The great anxiety now was to sec 
Annapolis, Maryland, which place wo reached on Tuesday at 10 
o'clock. As we approached the place all became disheartened at the 
appearance of things. Officers and men were much disappointed when 
we learned that wc should have to camp three miles from the town. 
Now, for the first time, we had to pitch tents — the clouds threatened a 
storm, and the boj's went eagerly to work and most of them had their 
tents up before night. 

I spent the night in the Colonel's tent, and the next morning wc 
found the earth covered with snow to the depth of eight inches. Wc found 
the people vwy inferior at this point; and a great many of the c.lorcd 
people had caught the distemper from the whites, their so-called 
masters. It was hard to find a pleasant family of colored people in 
the place ; they appeared to be afraid to speak to us. The first Sab- 
batfa I spent in camp, and had the pleasure of listening to a very in- 
teresting sermon from a reverend gentleman that paid us a visit for 
that purpose. The text was, "And on him they laid the cross." He 
handled the subject with great credit to himself, and great apjdausc 
was given by the soldiers. On the next Sabbath, which was the 27th 
of March, I visited the Methodist church at Annapolis. At 11 o'clock 
I preached to a crowded house, from Joshua, 3d chap. 11th verse. I 
preached at Zion's church in the afternoon, from Revelations, 3d chap. 
4th verse, and truly the good Lord was with us. At 5 P. M. I re- 



10 

turned to camp, and accompanied the Colonel to dress parade, and 
after ii was over. 1 was informed that an appointment was made 
for me to preach in the camp at 7 P. M. Feeling much exhausted 
from the severe labors of the day, yet at the time appointed 1 
was there, and endeavored to preach from the text, " The wages of 
.-iu i.> death." It was listened to by the offiecrs and men with the 
; attention. The week following the Colonel was absent on 
business at Washington. D. C; and according to frequent rumors in 
camp, our regiment was to spend the summer at this point. 1 had 
cherished tie' hope of greeting my dear family, whom I had left 
quite unwell at home; but on Friday my hopes were blasted by a 
general order, stating that the 29th Regiment should break camp 
at 7 o*clock on Saturday moaning, and embark on the transport then 
lying in the stream opposite the navy yard, bound for Hilton Head, 
S "I'll » Jarolina. 

Saturday morning found me up at I o'clock, and in the best of 
pirits, and as usual in a pleasant mood, but still 1 thought of home, 
sweet home - it was Inst to my sight, but not to my memory — and 
although I was very busy, 1 did not forget the dear nnes there: and 
while I w. is waiting for the ears to'comc and take the officers' baggage, 
soldier, the rail track was my chair and the cross-beam was my 
writing desk, I wrote to my wife at this last moment. 1 went bj 
rail to Annapolis, and when I arrived there, 1 joined those who had 
••hi" by boat. My lot was casj to the steamer Swallow- 1 went on 
board and put the Colonel's things in his state-room and mine also, 
and then went mi shore and spent the 'lav until 5 o'clock in the after- 
noon, when the transport was launched out into the Btream, and I wai 
I'll ashore witb the Colonel, Adjutant ami Lieut. Colonel. All kinds 
ofrumon prevailed on board. Seme -aid I bad deserted others, that 
I wai taken up for carrying arms, hut 5 o'clock found mo in a lifc- 
■ witb the Colonel and bis Mall', bound for the Swallow, that wa 
waiting our arrival. When the boj aw mo, thoy gave thrco hearty 
checi for Ordcrl) Mill. We remained all night, ami the next morn. 
1 o'clock the Swallow started downtho Btream, and Annapoli: 

I ' \i' v. The .-'wallow took the lead, and we BOOH 1" I 

ighl of the "tie r b il M m laj morning at 9 o'clock wo arrived at 
I'ortr M 'Hi" and the pilol went ashore, and after remaining a few 
momcnl lil again for [Iilton Bead, South Carolina. 

'I'll'- wind wa tolerably high, and the officers and men fell some 
what concerned in reference to pa pi tlattcras that night, but 

God wu in the wind, aud when v the i ipi al midnight it was 

quite calm ; and Tui day morning found u on the blue sea, out of the 



11 

sight of land, This was the first time in my life that I was ever out 
to sea, and it seemed very strange. All this time I had not been sea- 
sick, and began to think I should entirely escape, as I had been on 
the water two days. But at 3 P. M. I was very sick, and in company 
with many of the old seamen I had to cast up accounts for relief. It 
was very rough, and poor me ! I thought I could not live, but the 
utmost attention was given me by the Colonel and officers. The same 
night the boat took fire, and being too sick to sleep, I was enabled to 
give timely warning of the accident, or we should have perished by 
the flames or a watery grave ; but God was with me, and I got up in 
the midst of smoke and called the first mate, and then went to the 
Colonel's state-room and told him what had happened, and we put out 
the flames without arousing the other officers and men. 

Wednesday morning I felt better. The first sail we had seen for 
two days was that of a brig, which passed us this morning on our right- 
The sea was quite calm, but as the day wore away the wind began to 
rise, and 3 P. M. found me sick in the Colonel's berth. At 6 P. M. 
we were in sight of land, and this, the last night we spent at sea, was 
the hardest time we had, but joy came in the morning as we neared 
Hilton Head. When we came to the landing, the Colonel and Adju- 
tant went on shore, and we waited their return. When they came 
aboard, the Colonel told the Captain of the Swallow that he was ordered 
to Beaufort, where we arrived at 10 A. M. and were received on the 
wharf by a large crowd of people. We disembarked the same day, 
which was April 10th, and marched through the main street, and 
went up to the camp of the New York 20th U. S. V., and encamped 
on the right of Beaufort. We found Beaufort a pleasant place of 
about five thousand inhabitants. 

May 20th, 1804. Nothing of importance had occurred up to this 
date. I passed up the line of tents, and saw the Major in a wagon — 
he informed me that the Paymaster had arrived. When I made this 
known to the 29th Regiment the boys were much pleased, for they 
had not received any money since their enlistment, but soon their 
spirits fell when they learned they would receive only $7 per month. 
Company A took the lead in the dissatisfaction, it being the first com- 
pany, and company B nest, company K next, company C next, and 
so on till company D, it being the last company and the one tq which 
I belonged. After the companies all expressed their indignation at 
the small sum of $7 per month, the officers called them in line and 
told them they would receive $10 the next pay day, and they had 
better take this — at the same time promising them, that in the future 
they should receive full pay. They did as he wished. This has been 



12 

the failing with the colored race — they are always ready to comply 
with wrong teachings of strange gods, especially when they come from 
white men, and thai is the reason we cannot be a united nation. I would 
not and did not accept of the $7 per month, and I stood entirely alone. 
All in my company took that sum but myself, and when I was called 
up my response was. if the government could not afford to pay me a 
ioldier's wages T would peril my life and die for my country without 
it. When I consider the sacrifice I have nrade of my beloved family, 
and think that the general government does nothing for them, and 
then to insult me with the sum of $7 per monthly No, as I have 
given my life I will become a martyr and die before"! will accept that 
sum. lint T am happy to relate that when they found there were 
some tint filt the dignity of their manhood, the Paymaster Major 
endeavored to make apology to me in reference to the affair, but there 
was no compromise in me. 1 would accept nothing but $1(> per month. 
" Well," said he, "you will get the balance next pay day." My an- 
wcr was, "Whether I do or not, I will not accept of less than $10 
this time." I was brought to think of the psalmist David, when he 
said " Many arc the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will de- 
liver them out of them all." Notwithstanding our troubles, on Sab- 
bath morning, the 22d inst. , my mind was very much relieved at <! 
P. M. While at dress parade, the General rode along the line, and 
the Colonel brought the companies up in broken columns in front of 
the flag. At the command of the Colonel, the regiment came to 
"order, arms" and at this point (lencral Saxton dismounted, and 
G me his horse. Taking oil' his hat he commenced some brief re- 
marks by Saying, "Boys, 1 have come to greet you with an order I 

have received that you are to he considered soldiers of the United 

State- and receive your pay as white soldiers, and I hope you will oon- 

idcr yourselves men. Although your skins are dark, you have the 

one muscle as white men, and the same courage to light. [t is for 

to gel the Same skill by strictly attending to your duty, not from 

fear of punishment, bul because yon ore soldiers. Two years ago I 
came lure to Beauforl ami raised the firsl colored regiment. They were 
dl laves, and their masters were in the rebel army. One day a flag 
of truce came in from the rebel line, ami the colored troops wore out 
mi picket. Before tie-'- colored men became soldiers they could not 

look a white man in the face, hut at this time they began to fee] like 

men (tn, of the BO-callod masters came over, and seeing his so-called 
lave, he exclaimed, using hi- own language, ' There is my negro in 

irittB, 1 hut the colored soldier looked him Bquare in the face, and as I 

never make use of the word negro, I -aid t" him. if he was once a 



13 

slave he is free now, and God has made him so, and there is not a 
regiment in the department I would sooner go into the field with than 
the first Southern, now called the Sod United States troops." He con- 
cluded by saying, " Boys, if you ever want to make good soldiers you 
must look a white man straight in the face, and let him know that you 
are a man." • 

I spent the morning at the first colored church, and at 3 P. M. 
preached from the 14th chapter of Job and the 14th verse. My theme 
was " Death — an important change, not annihilation. It does not re- 
duce us to nothing, but alters our frame of being." 

At 7 P. M. the elder spoke from the text " Strive to enter in at the 
straight gate," and I closed the meeting. 

The next Sabbath we had service in the camp in which I took part. 
The Rev. Edward Scott preached. At 7 P. M. I preached from Rev- 
elations the 7th chapter and 9th verse. My theme was " The society 
and happiness of the heavenly state. Life is a journey. Christians 
are but travellers to the unseen world. The world to which we arc 
going is unknown to us." Truly we had a good time. 

May 25th. A general order, stating that a part of the 29th regi- 
ment was ordered out on picket duty. Company D was asked for, but 
owing to one of the officers being sick, and the Captain on detached 
service, it could not go, so Co. E was substituted, and for the first 
time they commenced packing to face the enemy in the field. When 
they were all ready to move the boys started off cheerfully. As the 
officers looked dejected, my prayer was, may God go with you and 
give you strength to face the enemy. The camp was unusually quiet 
at this time. The Colonel and Adjutant had orders to go to the front, 
and it left the camp without a line officer, excepting the Major, and 
he looked quite lonesome. The rumors were that the rebels intended 
to attack Beaufort the 25th instant, but the day passed of all quiet 
along the line. 

August 9th — we broke camp at Beaufort and embarked on board 
the transport Trade Wind bound for Hilton Head, where we arrived 
at 10 A. M. The Colonel went ashore and received orders to go to 
Fortress Monroe. 

At G P. M. we weighed anchor and soon found our bark stemming 
the rapid tide, and when night came on I was soon in the arms of 
sleep and forgot all earthly care. The morning of the 10th instant I 
rose at 5 o'clock and gazed upon the glorious sun as he rose out of the 
sea ; truly it was a grand sight to one as ignorant of such things as 
myself. The day passed pleasantly, and the transports stemmed the 
rapid tide three in number. When T stood on deck and took an ob- 



14 

servation of the surrounding scenery, I was lost in wonder at the pro- 
found immensity of the great waters, and I came to the conclusion 
that the hand of (!od had formed all these things: in this profound 
thought the morning passed gently. After dinner. 1 had some talk 
with the boys on board in reference to their fare, and they informed 
me they would be glad to boil their coffee with the coals that the fire- 
man raked from the furnace, but even that was denied. 

The night of the 10th came, and all retired to their sleeping places, 
(and you may imagine they were not feather beds,) officers and men, 
with the exception of Col. W. 1>. Wooster and a few Captains, who 
had state-rooms, and they were the most miserable I ever saw, and 
dirty accordingly, but they were the best they could have, therefore 
they were contented. The night passed rapidly, and the morning of 
the 11th hist, found all on board well and ready for breakfast. We 
found hard tack and raw pork were not as agreeable as the fare we 
h:el Keen used to, but hunger made it very palatable. After breakfast 
1 wnt mi deck and amused myself by talking with the boys gene- 
rally. 1 met the Sergeant Major, and after inquiring of his health, he 
informed me that he was on board with nothing to eat. 1 went to the 
Colonel's state-room and brought my haversack with some cheese, 
cakes and pies, that my friends in Beaufort put up for me. and 1 said. 
"Here is enough for you ; help yourself;" he looked up and said. 
•■ .Mr. Hill. I never shall forget your ad of kindness to me in this 
hour of suffering." 

In the evening at 6 o'clock we came in sight of the lighl house oil 

Fortress Monroe. 1 went to the Captain and asked him when we 
bould get to the Port, he said "In the morning about 8 o'clock." I 

retired ami went to sleep. The morning of the 12th found me up at ;"> 

o'clock, and looking around me 1 saw the land on my left. We arrived 
at Fortress Monroe at H) A. M. and dropped anchor, ami the Colonel 

went ashore aid remained until 1 P. M. When he came on board he 
informed the officers that lie musl prooeed to Bermuda Hundred, Va 

At I P. M. Wfl weighed anchor and left for our destined place. I was 

much pleased with the scenery up the .lames river. The first thing 
that attracted my attention was Jamestown in it- desolation nothing 
but :i shattered wreck the only building is thai of a briok church 
that standi in the midst of green trees lifting their beads high ami 
lofty, looking down on a oity doomed as Sodom was fm- sin. \\ hen w.c 
i, wjhod <'it\ Poinl within live miles it was nigbt , ami the captain of 
the Trade Wind bated that be 'lid noi think it safe t" run up that 
i, edit, a the rebels bad gun planted on the shore. We dropped 
inchor and waited the approach of day. The boys slept soundly, hut 



15 

sleep had fled from my eyes. The morning of the loth came, and we 
weighed anchor, and at 6 A. M. we found our little transport safe at 
the wharf at Bermuda Hundred. We passed City Point, and the 
troops went ashore and took up the line of march for the General's 
headquarters. The day was intensely warm, and the regiment marched 
five miles into Virginia, and not being accustomed to marching they 
became weary, and most of the men threw away their blankets. Being 
Regimental Orderly, I was detailed at Bermuda Hundred till four 
o'clock, and then started for the regiment, which I reached at 6 P. M. 
and found it encamped in the woods close to General Birney's head- 
quarters. The boys cheered me as I passed along the line on my way 
to the Colonel's quarters. We remained there until 11 P. M. and 
received an order to proceed to Deep Hollow. We marched until 2 
A. M. and crossed the pontoon bridge, and proceeding two miles far- 
ther passed ; halted in a corn field in the rear of the advanced 

pickets, and for the first time laid on our arms in the open field. I 
lay near the Colonel, with the reins of my horse tied to my wrist, my 
gun in my arms half cocked, and in this position rested the night — the 
rebels being quite close to us — within a stone's throw. 

The morning of the 14th inst. the Colonel sprang to his feet at 4 
o'clock and gave the order " Attention." The boys all arose from their 
dusty beds, waiting for the order to load, expecting to take the ad- 
vance pickets, but at this juncture the General sent an order for him 
to fall back to the fort at Malvern Hill. We got breakfast and the 
men were stationary. All was quiet until one P. M., when the rebels 
attacked the pickets that were stationed on the outposts. The Colonel 
gave the order "Fall in." For the first time the boys put on their 
equipments and fell in ; and when the order was given " Forward," 
they rushed to the battle in good order. Quite a battle took place, at 
which time a number wore killed and wounded on both sides, and we 
took a number of prisoners. 

On the 15th inst. we remained quiet, with the exception of some 
skirmishing. The 10th, vvc received orders to move the regiment and 
join the 3d division 10th army corps, General Birney's brigade having 
at this time fallen in with the 22d, 7th, 8th and 9th U. S. C. Troops, 
and with the 29th they numbered 5,000. At 2 P. M'. we took up our 
line of march for Jones' landing. We crossed the pontoon bridge and 
inarched up the valley in a drenching rain, and in the midst of the 
deep mud* the boys were cheerful. We arrived at our place of desti- 
nation at 7 P. M. and rested in an open field in the rear of the advance 
pickets. The boys stacked their arms and commenced putting up their 
shelter tents. I took my tin cup and coffee, and prepared supper for 



1G 

theColonel, Lieut. Colonel, Major and Adjutant. After this I was at 
my wits end to find a place for them to sleep ; at last I formed this 
plan : I got nine rails and laid three abreast and spread the blankets 
on them, and the Colonel and Major laid down. The Lieut. Colonel 
laid on the ground. 1 slept on the third tier, and being tired rested 
comfortably- The night passed swiftly, and^he morning of the 17th 
we rose early and got breakfast, and awaited the order to advance t" 
the front. At 10 A. M. we halted in the woods, and the boys com 
menoed clearing up to pitch their tents, and while they were at work 
the General rode up at one P. M. and told the Colonel to draw the 
division back to its former position, which they did in good order. We 
got dinner and remained but a short time, when the rebels commenced 
driving in our pickets, and the order was given to " fall in," and tin 
men fell in in good order, and rushed to the battle; the 29th had the 
right centre, the 22d formed next to the 29th on the right of the 
centre, the 7th on the left of the centre, and the 9th in the centre 
At the command " left flank," the whole column marched at double 
quick. They halted at the woods, and quite a battle took place, al 
which time our Lieut. Colonel was wounded in the leg and his horse 
was shot from under him ; he has since recovered. We remained in 
line of battle till 12 o'clock, and to the surprise of officers and men 
not a soldier of the 29th was killed or wounded, I being the only one 
that a ball struck. While standing on an elevated Bpol a rebel ball 
-truck my hat ami caused me to look around.J 

On the 17th hist, the whole column mOvcd back and remained all 
.lay where Gen'l McClellan retreated from in the fall of 1861, twelve 

mile- from Richmond. Wo remained there until the 18th instant, and 
at 8 1' M. the whole corps ami 3d division moved down the valhy 
We halted in an open field for two hours opp site the pontoon bridgi 
crossing the Chiokahomney, at which time the order was given "At 
t< ation " The whole regiment came in line, and when the order was 
given "Forward," the column marched towards the 1. ridge and halted 
on the bridgo, on account of a broken plank. The bridge being n 
paired, which detained u- an hour, wo again took up the lino ofmaroh 
and p. i 'd the general bcadquartors, almost to our original position, 
and halted for the day in an open Geld. 

The r.lth instant WO remained quiet. Tie -Jilth we started for the 

lY.tiit of Petersburg, and marched in o drenching rain to the forts on 
tie right of tho Poinl of Rooks hospital. The -_'l-t came near b 
Hanked bj tic !.li.] and marched baok to Malvern Hill and repaired 
breastwork! Tho 22d had quite a Bkirmisb with the rebels, when wi 
were quite noc< if al, killing and taking 75 prisoner .and had as yel 



17 

lost none of the 29th regiment in killed or wounded. We left on the 
day of the 23d for the front of Petersburg again, and at 10 A. M. 
crossed the James river on the pontoon bridge, and passed the heights 
where the first New Jersey battery was stationed. We arrived in front 
of Petersbm-g at 2 P. M. and were amused looking at the doomed 
city. The rebels sent a shell, which passed over the regiment, and 
fell close to the Colonel, who was sitting on his horse at the right of 
the brigade; he gave the order "Attention," and countermarched the 
regiment and fell back to the woods, and waited the order from the 
General, which he received at 5 P. M. to fall back to the fort four 
miles distant, to protect the pontoon bridge opposite the Point of' 
Rocks, where we arrived at 6 P. M. coming at almost double quick. 
On our return the roadside was strewn with stragglers from different 
regiments, and when the column met them they inquired the cause of 
our return, and the reply of the boys was "the rebels are after us." 
It was a source of laughter to us to find the stragglers falling in, and 
many of them could out walk the well soldiers when they heard the 
rebels were coming. We remained the night of the 23d at the fort in 
a drenching rain, and the Johnnies did not come.) 

On the morning of the 24th I found quite a number of my white 
friends from home — Dr. Clark from Woodbm'y, N. J., and others. 
We were glad to meet again alive, and talked of beloved friends at 
home, and the morning passed rapidly and pleasantly to all. At one 
P. M. the order came for the regiment to return to the front of Peters- 
burg, when the white soldiers seemed to regret that the 29th were 
going to leave the fort. We took up our line of inarch and at 3 P. M. 
were again in front of the land of Destruction, which was Petersburg. 
We halted in the rear of Gen. Birney's headquarters and got supper, 
after which the regiment moved to the rifle pits, with the exception of 
a few detailed men, of which I was one. I was attracted by the re- 
marks of a white soldier as we left the fort. He looked at the colored 
troops and said, "Well, they are taking those colored men to their 
slaughter pen in front of Petersburg." Truly his saying was correct, 
for on the first night Co. H felt the first stroke, having the first man 
killed out of the 29th regiment. It was private Henry Mings, a native 
of Africa, who emigrated to this country in 1862, and joined the 29th 
Connecticut Volunteers Jan'y, 1864. He was very broken in speech, 
being a regular African, and was, as is too often the case among 
soldiers, a very wicked man. He died as he lived, a rebel to his God 
but true to this country. 



18 

On the 25th, Co. K felt the horrors of war. Private Samuel Bur- 
ton was killed, being shot through the head while moving the com- 
pany; he was a resident of Hartford, Conn. On the 26th Oo. J) felt 
the Mow. Private George Porter was shot in the shoulder, and died 
at the hospital four days after. On the 27th Col. "Wooster was brought 
in from the rifle pits quite sick. The 28th we lost our firsl officer, a 
worthy man. who was captured while out strengthening the pickets on 
the outpost. On the 20th we lrid two men killed. I could not asa r- 
tain their names, but they belonged to Co. A. On the 30th we had 
two killed, one out of Co. B, and one out of another company. The 
:!lst we lost two men out of Co. E, and one out of Co. K, private 
Chester PhillOx. 

3ept. 1st, we struck tents in front of Petersburg, and took up our 
line of march for our place of destination, unknown to all but the 
Generals. When the line was drawn up4ho colored troops of the 3d 
division. 10th army corps, numbered 7' .«'<»'*, the 29th forming the 
centre. At '■', P. M. we started on the main road leading direct to 
City Point, thinking we were going by transport to some place of rest, 
but about 12 o'clock the same night our hopes were bla-ted, when we 
took the left hand road leading to Broadway Landing, and we soon 
found ourselves crossing the pontoon bridge that brought us in the 
rear of Petersburg. Daylight found us on the Old .Market road lead- 
lirect to the front of Richmond. We marched all night. 

Bight o'clock, on tin' morning of the 20 inst found the whole brigade 
agedin front of the erfciny ; wedrovethem five miles, and at 1 P.M. 
were inside the rebels' first line of works surrounding Richmond. Wc 
had a hard battle, commencing* at 2 P M., and had been engaged 
hreo hours when a charge was made on two of the rebel forts. The 
loft of tie- line was charged by the Bth P. S. 0. troops, supported b\ 
the 29th. Tie' centre was charged ly the 9th .Maryland, supported 
by the 7th C. S. C. troops. The day was one Long to be romombered; 
the rebels foughl hard, hut the colored troopB carried the day. and 
id dit found us iu the rebels' line of works. We lost quite a number 
ofhravc men and among the wounded of the 29th was Capt. Thorpe 
ami Lieut. McDonald; we greatly regretted their loss, bul tothesur- 

Of all let One Of the 29th Was killed : they all came out of the 

light well. When 1 looked upon the d< id and wounded, it was awful 

e the pil nd arm that the surgeons out off and threw in 

hcapf on the ground We lay in front of the works all night, and the 

morning of the 3d vrc had quite a warm reception, The bombarding 

both -id< . and wc could frequently boo rebels carrying 

r dead and wounded out of their trenches and forts Wc had 



1 ( J 

cral wounded but none killed. The Colonel being unable for duty. 
Major D. was in command, who was a worthy and careful commander, 
and gained high praise from both officers and men. The Colonel, 
officers and men generally, regretted the absence of Lieut. Col. J. C. 
Ward, who was at that time sick at Fortress Monroe. 

The morning of the 4th inst. we moved on the left of the line, and 
planted our flag under the rebel fire of grape and canister, bombshell 
and musketry. When the rear guards came over the field the dead 
lay strewed on the ground, but to my surprise we could find none of 
the 29th killed. The 5th inst. we rested in the rifle pits, with the ad- 
vance pickets thrown out in front of the third fort of the rebels ; 
nothing went on of importance, except the artillery fought a duel with 
the rebel fort at long range. On the Gth instant, we remained still in 
the breastworks. On trie 7th we received orders to fall back to the 
general headquarters to rest. The 29th had just reached their resting 
place when a fight broke out in the centre, and they were ordered 
back to the breastworks on double quick. On the 8th we remained 
at the breastworks until 3 P. M. and then received orders to move on 
the right to support the 45th at the fort on Lookout mountain. We 
arrived at Lookout at G P. M,, tired and weary, and hoped to encamp 
for the night, but at 10 o'clock our hopes were blasted by an order, 
stating that the 29th must return to the front to support the 8th U. S. 
C. troops, then laying in the breastworks. We remained at this post 
six days, when the General ordered a scout to explore the woods in 
front of the rebels. We left camp in front Of the breastworks at two 
P. M. on the 14th inst. and as we were accustomed to have it rain, 
the rain fell in torrents, but General Birney gallantly led his band of 
the 3d division, 10th army corps, numbering 75,000 colored troops. 
We arrived at our destination, and the General ordered out the skirm- 
ishers, but whether he saw any rebels, or saw too many of them to 
engage in a fight is yet a profound secret, but the night of the 14th 
inst. found us back in camp in the rear of the breastworks. The rain 
kept falling. The men were ordered to have two days' rations and be 
ready to fall in at one A. M. in light marching order, without knap- 
sacks. Col. Ward, then in command of the 29th, said to me, " Hill, 
I would like you to be close to me, as I shall want you early in tlic 
morning." At this I spread my blanket on the wet ground and lay 
down to rest; sleep had fled from me, and as I ijaoked at the Colonel 
I could see a change in his countenance. Adjutant Spalding, who had 
but lately rejoined the regiment, was also with us. There seemed to 
be an uneasiness among the field officers. The naoiining of the loth 
inst. rolled round, and at :! o'clock the line was formed and gradually 



20 

moved off to the right, and as we marched along the Captain of Co. D 
commenced singing "Are there no foes for me to face'.' Mnst I no! 
stem the flood? Is this vain world a friend to -rare, to help me on to 
God?" These sublime words oftentimes cheered the moving column 
as it marched through the dreary roads of Virginia. When the glori- 
ous sun arose it found us on the extreme right of the front, three 
miles from Richmond, where the white troops were repulsed on the 
6th inst. The eolumu was halted and drawn up in line of battle in 
front of the woods, the white troops on the right, and the colored 
frroops on the left, the 8th and 29th firming in the centre; the 29th 
supporting the 8th. They entered the woods, and immediately at- 
tacked the enemy, and at 8 A. M. the battle became general along 
the whole line, and many a brave soldier fell, killed or wounded. 
Among them were thirteen of the 29th. The Adjutant tell wounded 
early in the engagement ; Corporal George Burr, Co. L, Corporal Sid- 
ney of Co. H, private Joseph Halstead of Co. D, killed instantly. 
GreorgC E. Peters wounded in the side. Sergeant dailies Evans wounded 
in the font by a piece of shell. To my regret. George Halstead was 
left on the field dead. 

A very striking instance came to my notice through the course of 
the day of the 16th. A private of the 8th \ . S. C. troops was wounded 
in the head early in the engagement and brought to the rear. I found 
him lying in his Mood, and he would have died in this condition hut 1 
lifted him up and raised his head. I went to my post, and at 1 1'. ML 
returned, and found him still alive, and when making some inquiries 
I learned thai no doctor had given him any attention, and inquired to 
know tie' oauso of this Deglect. i made some stir about the ease, and 
OOrn fodder and had him laid on it and put by the lire. When th< 
wounded were moved back he was taken along and was booii in a con- 
dition to be >iit to the hospital, with hopes of his recovery. .Many of 
like cases could 1'" saved by a little oaro and attention after the battle, 

hut the comploxion and rank of a man has a great bearing. There 

great distinction made among the wounded, so muoh so that it 
would make the heart of any christian ache t" see men treated so like 
brute 

On the evening of the i.nh. ai 5 o'clock, the cannon was sounded 

iMi- the army t'f fall hack while the artillery spoke destruction and 

laughter i" the robcls; we tell book, the oavalrj covering our retreat, 
The colored troops woro the first to go into the fight and the la | i 

, -lie nil the field. Willi what Cil CHI! I looker) fur t he Hag of 1 1 le 

li9th, and at la i ! -aw it Hoatinj among the pine ; and truly my hoarl 
loapod with joy when I once mor< saw the colors of our Regiment 



21 

The- night found us back in camp, in the rear of our former position. 

All was quiet in front of Richmond, from the 15th until the evening 
of the 28th inst., when we received the information that the 10th 
Army Corps had light marching orders, and as it was in our former 
marches, different rumors prevailed. The Companies left their knap- 
sacks at their company quarters, and the morning of the 29th, at 4 
o'clock, we were on the march for the field of battle, which we reached 
at 6 o'clock ; the 8th formed in line in front of the enemy, the 18th 
formed on the right, the 10th Corps, to which my Regiment belonged, 
was in the centre. The 29th Regiment was put out on a skirmish in 
the advance to charge the rifle pits. At the time of this battle, the 
highest officer in the 29th was a Captain : the Colonel was home on 
a sick leave; the Lieut. Colonel, W. C. Ward, was promoted Colonel 
of the 41st U. S., and the Major was sick in camp. We mourned 
the loss of our field officers, but Captain Camp, of Co. D, took the 
position of Major and formed the lirTe, and said to us, "Boys, we have 
got to fight to-day ; do the best you can ; do your duty and I will staad 
by you till the last ; will you stand by me ?" The boys replied, "we will 
stand by you till the last." The Captain said : "Be careful and keep 
in line and obey the orders," " Forward, double quick;" and the regi- 
ment charged the rebel rifle pits and carried'thc works, and held them 
twenty-four hours. This was one of the most desperate battles of the 
campaign. Wc lost in the fight one hundred men killed and wounded. 
The 29th Colored Regiment covered themselves with great praise given 
them from all the officers. General Birncy greatly complimented it 
for bravery in the battle. One of our first Orderly Sergeants of Co. 
D, named Spencer, captured three rebel prisoners. The fight lasted 
from 6 in the morning until 7 P. M. J 

The morning of the 00th, while the regiment lay on the rebel works, 
they shot away a 50 pounder. They received forty rounds of cartridge 
and rose up and stormed the rebels' main works, and then received 
orders to fall back, which they did in good order, and the evening of 
the 30th found us safe back again in front of Richmond. We wire 
called to mourn the loss of Mr. Charles Bcntley of Co. A, who fell in 
the early part of the engagement with a ball in his breast, a champion 
of liberty and a noble christian; also James Spriggs of Co. F, and 13 
others who fell asleep on the field of battle. 

Oct. 16, 1864. All was quiet up to this date. 3d division 10th 
army corps, 29th regiment, Gen. Birney's brigade. To the surprise 
of the regiment wc were presented with the United States national 
colors, which greatly pleased the boys. The flag was presented by 
the Major of the 45th U. S C. troops to Lieut. Col. W. C. Ward in a 






■1-1 

pleasing manner, and in his statement be spoke of the bravery of the 
29th in the battle of the L5thinst., to which Lieut. Col. Ward replied, 
•• I am no speech-maker, but I have 672 guns that will speak for me 
when occasion requires better than 1 can, and they are ready when- 
ever called for." Notwithstanding this pleasant incident, quite a 
mourning sensation occurred in the regiment on the 19th Last. While 
on dress parade Lieut. Col. Ward made a very feeling and parting ad- 
dress to the 29th regiment, and told them he was promoted to Colonel 
of the -i 1st U. S. C. troops. He >aid, "I intend to leave yon in '1 1 
hours. I would rather stay with the 29th, but duty demands it mid 1 
must obey." Truly, these remarks fell upon the ears of tie- boys with 
tremendous weight. 

Col. W. C. Ward was generally beloved by the 29th regiment for 
bis gentlemanly and good discipline, and his careful protection of hi- 
men. He was careful never to order the private- to go where In- was 
not willing to go himself, and for these traits the men loved him. Be 
was in command of the regiment at the absence of Col. Wooster, and 
he lead it in and out of two battles witli the loss of few men, and this 
made us regard him as a leader we could look up to. While we were 
quartered in the breastworks in front of Richmond, Col. Ward was 
mounted on his horse, and 1 rode in the rear of him, and when we 
halted a rebel sharpshooter shot at him just as he dismounted, and the 
ball went through hi- hat. Col. Ward never flinched, but came to 
"attention,'" and said "Well, Hill. I believe that was meant forme, but 
lie did not not in- this time"' This was during the first day's light, 
and he bad not had his boots oil' for live days, and slept on the -round 
with lii- mi ii. faring as they die]. Sometimes 1 would get him to take 
my blanket to keep him warm, as 1 would rather do without it myself 
than sec ni\ officers uncared for. I Jut he left US, ami no one felt hi: 
Loss more than 1, for 1 was his first Orderly. When he came to the 
29th regiment as Captain of Co. E, 1 was promoted by bim to B 
mental Orderly, and I was tin- last to escort him to hi.- rogimont, and 
with reluctance I left bim Colonel of the ll.-t U.S. regimont, en- 
camped in the rear of the 29th in front of Richmond. 

(hi tho 5th of November I loft eamp in front of Richmond and went 
<m busim to Ri rmuda Hundred, ami to my surprise 1 roccivod tie 
intelligence at In A. M that tho 29tb regimont bad moved to .Malvern 
Height* one mile from Spring Hill. Virginia, liter attcuding tovthj! 
l.ii in. i ntru !• 'I to in\ care I mounted aij bor te and tinted fm 
i. ■ i 1 1 1 < ni. then laying at tho inn. thi being thi lii I line tho • 
mi-Hi ever moved without my being with it. At 9 I' M. I found tin 
regiment in the forte on Malvern Hill in ■■ 1 spirit* Tho regiment 



was divided in four different .forts in the immediate front of the rebels. 
All was quiet up to Nov. 8th, at which date we ranked in the second 
division, 10th army corps, the 29th yet in the forts at Malvern Hill. 
Nothing of importance occurred up to the 3d of December, when we 
received moving orders at 4 P. M. and at that time the tents were 
struck. This was on the Sabbath, and the relief did not arrive until 
Monday. The 5th inst. at 10 A. M. we took up our line of march for 
a destination unknown to us. All kinds of rumors prevailed among 
the boys. Leaving comfortable quarters they had constructed, they 
did not feel pleasant about going, but 2 P. M. found us on the left of 
Fort Harrison in the centre of the line, the latter place being quite 
inferior to our old company ground. When halted the boys went 
busily to work at fixing up as usual, carrying timber and putting up 
their cabins. They all worked busily until Tuesday evening at nine 
o'clock, when there came an order stating that the 29th should pack 
up with two days' rations. The hearts of the boys were sad enough 
before, but when they heard of having marching orders they felt worse. 
We packed up but did not start; and Wednesday, the 7th inst., found 
us still in camp, in front of the rebs in a drenching rain. The same 
day found us somewhat changed — -the colored regiments all being con- 
solidated in the 2d division, 3d brigade, 25th army corps. A number 
of detached men were taken from the regiments. I was detailed at 
headquarters as Brigade Postmaster. I felt somewhat strange in the 
new office, but I entered upon my duties with a willing heart. All was 
quiet along the line, with the exception of the Johnnies cheering. 
The evening of the 8th inst. the advance pickets were fired on. 

January 1st, 1865.' — Fort Burmen, in front of Richmond. The 
closing of 1864 passed off up to this date with frequent picket firing, 
our boys taking their regular turn. On the 8th of January the rebels 
fired on the pickets on the left of the line ; the 29th at the sound fell 
in line in their entrenchments waiting to receive the Johnnies, but 
they failed to make an attack. We lay under marching orders up to 
the 13th inst. when Col. W. B. Wooster received orders to move his 
headquarters in the rear of the 29th regiment. 

All remained quiet up to the 23d, when at 8 P. M. the rebel fleet 
moved down the James river towards the Dutch Gap, and commenced 
firing on fort Bradley, which was kept up all night. On the 24th 
inst., at 2 P. M., the clerk came to me and stated that there was an 
order to go out to the picket line, but neither of the Orderlies whose 
duty it was, wished to go, and seeing their dissatisfaction, I volunteered 
and went out to the advance picket line. 8 A. M. found the whole line 
drawn up in their entrenchments, under cannonading at long range, with 



24 

the reinforcement in the rear in line of battle. The shelling was terrific 
all day ; 1 went into the basement of the house used for general quar- 
ters at 2 V. M., where I formerly stayed. There was live of us in the 
basement, and a stray shell from thi' rebel gunboat came through the 

window and burst, passing over me and tearing out everything in the 
basement, but to the surprise of all, none of us were killed or wounded. 
This was a wonderful deliverance from Cod. The provost guard in 
front of general quarters, having knowledge of my being in the house 
at the time of the explosion, all exclaimed, "Hill is killed." Avery 
intimate friend of mine, Mr. Jordan Jones, said "Boys, Hill is in the 
basement, and who will go in with me to bring out his remains."' A 
little boy by the name of Thomas Watson was with me, and when 1 
heard the shell coming I took him in my arms. After the explosion 
I shook him to see if he were yet alive, when Tommy commenced 
kicking. I said, "Boys, follow me ;" and the next moment 1 made 
my appearance on the back stoop facing the breastworks, just as they 
were coming in to see if we were dead. As I came out the boys all 
cheered. I felt much stunned, and found my hearing dull. 

There was a duel fought at long range mi the 28th, at which time a 
shell sent from the rebel ram came through my (punters tearing out 
everything in the room, but my life was spared through the mercy of 
God. On the 7th of Feb'y my heart gladdened, for 1 received a fur- 
lough of twenty days to return home to see my beloved family and 
many precious friends. 1 Btarted the same day on board the transport 
WeldoD for City Point. 1 went from there to Fortress .Monroe, from 
Fortress Monroe to Annapolis, and from there to Washington city by 
cars, where 1 arrived on Friday the 10th inst. at '.» A. ML. I remained 
there until 6 1*. M. and then Left in the oars for home: reaching Phil- 
adelphia at 12 o'clock; I put up with Mr. Samuel Williams until 

Saturday morning the llih inst. At .'! P. M. 1 left Philadelphia in a 

boal at Walnut street wharf for Camden, and there took the oars for 

Woodbury, N. J., where 1 arrived and had tin pleasure of embracing 
m\ beloved family. Truly the meeting was one long to be reiiicm- 

bered. I remained at h e four days, and then visited Trenton, N. •!., 

where 1 had many kind friend.--. On Monday I returned limne again ami 
remained with my family and friends: everything was delightful, ami 

truly a meat change from camp life, wlnrc 1 had spent one year ami 
one month in the service. (>n the 2 1th instant at 8 o'clock I bid m\ 
beloved wife and two ohildren adieu: one of my children was three 

years and six month- old, and the Other six months. \\ lull the la- I 
moment came Dover in m\ life did I experience such emotion,-, and no 
•■lie but a husband and lather ran imagine what tiny were. a> I Looked 



25 

upon my family as I supposed for the last time in life. Never shall I 
forget that last farewell. The wagon that bore me away began to 
move and my eyes were fastened on my home until it was lost in the 
distance. I landed in Philadelphia at 10 o'clock, and there bid my 
father-in-law good bye, with the intention of going to Baltimore, but 
when I arrived in the -city I was detained by my friends. Mr. Brown, 
in South street, made a reception for me at 8 P. M. I went there at 
the specified time, and found a great many of my devoted friends to 
pay, as they supposed, the last tribute to one they loved, and a de- 
fender of the country. I remained in the city until Tuesday the 25th, 
and at one P. M. I left the residence of Mrs. Young for Broad and 
Prime sts., where I took the cars for Baltimore, and arrived there at 5 
P.M. I was escorted to the soldiers' refreshment saloon, where I 
partook of the hospitality of kind friends, after which I inquired of the 
friends if any of them could take me to the residence of Rev' d W. D. 
Schurem'an. One of the ladies kindly took me there, and I found he 
had gone to a fair then going on in his church. I went there and 
found him and his lady ; they received me as a brother and introduced 
me to a great many of his congregation. I spent the evening pleas- 
antly, but in the midst of the great throng I thought of my home and 
dear family that I had left behind. After the fair closed I went home 
with Mr. Schureman and his wife, and stayed all night. I spent the 
next morning with Mr. Schureman in his library talking over old 
times until 9 o'clock, when we went to the Provost Marshal's and got 
my transportation for Fortress Monroe, where I arrived on Thursday 
the 27th, after a lonesome ride with a burdened heart. I arrived in 
camp at the expiration of my furlough . 

At 10 A. M. on the 29th inst. we moved from the breastworks on 
the left of Fort Harrison to the hill in the centre, where we built a 
tower overlooking the rebel works into Richmond. We remained 
there four weeks, and on the 27th of March we moved again. Part 
(if the 29th rested in Fort Harrison and the 2d Brigade in the white 
house, known as General Birney's headquarters. All was quiet here 
until the 1st of April, when all was in readiness, and the order was 
given to strike tents and move on to Richmond. During Sunday 
night the brigade was out in line of battle, and at three o'clock in the 
morning the rebels blew up three gun boats and commenced vacating 
their works in our front. At 5 A. M. the troops commenced to ad- 
vance on the rebel works — the 29th taking the advance, the 9th U. S. 
C. troops next. Soon refugees from the rebels came in by hundreds. 
Col. W. B. "Wooster passed them about, and made them go before the 



20 

regiment and dig up the torpedoes that were left in the ground to pre- 
vent the progress of the Union army. They were very numerous, bul 
to the surprise of officers and men. nunc of the army were injured by 
them. On our march to Richmond we captured 500 pieces of artillery 
-Mine (lithe largest kind, 6,000 stand of small arms, and the prisoners 
1 was not able to number The road was strewed with all kinds of 
obstacles, and men were lying all along the distance of seven miles 
The main body of the army went up the New Market road. The 29th 
ikirmished all the way, and arrived in the city at 7 A. M., and we're 
the first infantry that entered the city; they went at double quick 
most of the way. When Col. Wooster came to .Main st. he pointed hi 

word at the capitol, ami .-aid "Double quick, march," and the com- 
pany charged through the main street to the capitol and halted in the 

quare until the rest of the regiment came up. Very soon after the 
arrival of the white troops the colored troops were moved op the out- 
skirts of the city, and as fast as the white troops came in the colored 
troops were ordered out. until we occupied the advance. The white 
troops remained in the city as gfluds. We remained mi the outpost. 

The 3d instant President Lincoln visited the city. No triumphal 
march of a conqueror could "have equalled in moral sublimity the 
humble manner in which he entered Richmond. I was standing en 
the b.ank of the James river viewing the scene of desolation when a 
heat, pulled by twelve sailors, came up the stream. It contained 

Presidenl Lincoln and his sun. Admiral Porter, Captain , of tic 

Army, Captain , of the Navy. Lieut. "\V. \V. . of the Signal 

Corps. In seme way the colored people en the bank of the river as- 
certained that the tall man wearing the black hat was Presidenl 

Lincoln. There was a BUdden shout and clapping of hands. I was 

very much amused at the plight of one officer who had in charge fifty 
colored men to put to work en the ruined buildings; he found himsell 
alone, for they left work and crowded to see the President. As he 

approached I -aid to a woman, " .Madam, there is the man that made 

you froe." She exclaimed, " Is that President Lincoln?" My repl) 
was in the affirmative. She gazed at him with clasped hand- and aid. 

'Glory to God. Give llim the praise for hi goodness," and f?hi 

heated till her voice failed her. 

When the President landed there was no carriage near, neither did 

he wait for one, bul leading hi- -en. thej walked over a mile to Gon'l 

Weii/el'.- headquarters at Jeff, Davis' mansion, a colored man acting 

nidi'. Si\ soldiers drossod in blue, with their carbines, were tic 

advanced guards, Next to them came President Lincoln and en. and 

Admiral Porter, flanked bv tl tier officer* right and left Then 



27 

came a correspondent, and in the rear were six .sailors with carbines. 
Then followed thousands of people, colored and white. What a spec- 
tacle ! I never witnessed such rejoicing in all my life. As the Presi- 
dent passed along the street the colored people waved their handker- 
chiefs j hats and bonnets, and expressed their gratitude by shouting 
repeatedly, "Thank God for his goodness; wc have seen his salva- 
tion." The white soldiers caught the sound and swelled the numbers, 
cheering as they marched along. All could see the President, he was 
so tall. One woman standing in a doorway as he passed along shouted, 
" Thank you, dear Jesus, for this sight of the great conqueror." 
Another one standing by her side clasped her hands and shouted, 
" LTcss the Lamb — Bless the Lamb." Another one threw her bounct 
in the air, screaming with all her might, "Thank you, Master 
Lincoln." A white woman came to a window but turned away, as if 
it were a disgusting sight. A few white women looking out of an ele- 
gant mansion waved their handkerchiefs. President Lincoln walked 
in silence, acknowledging the salute of officers and soldiers, and of the 
citizens, colored and white. It was ;v man of the people among the 
people. It was a great deliverer among the delivered. No wonder 
tears came to his eyes when he looked on the poor colored people who 
were once slaves, and heard the blessings uttered from thankful hearts 
and thanksgiving to God and Jesus. They were earnest and heartfelt 
expressions of gratitude to Almighty God, and thousands of colored 
men in Richmond would have laid down their lives for President 
Lincoln. After visiting Jeff. Davis' mansion he proceeded to the 
rebel capilol and from the steps delivered a short speech, ami spoke to 
the colored people as follows : 

" In reference to you, colored people, let me say God has made you 
free. Although you have been deprived of your God-given rights by 
your so-called masters, you arc now as free as I am, and if those that 
claim to be your superiors do not know that you are free, take 'the 
sword and bayonet and teach them that you arc — for God created all 
men free, giving to each the same rights of life, liberty and the pur- 
suit of happiness." 

The gratitude and admiration amounting almost to worship, with 
which the colored people of Ptichmond received the President must 
have deeply touched his heart. He came among the poor unheralded, 
without pomp or pride, and walked through the streets, as if he were 
a private citizen more than a great conqueror, lie came not with 
bitterness in his heart, but with the olive leaf of kindness, a friend to 
elevate sorrow and suffering, and to rebuild what had been destroyed. 
The Gth inst. General Wcitzel's headquarters were moved to a large 



28 

mansion on the north corner of Franklin and Ith streets. Here tin 
hearts of the detached men were made glad with the expectation oi 
remaining sometime, but our hopes were soon blasted when the Gene- 
ral told me thai on Tucsdaj the tlth, wc hould move to Petersburg. 
On Tuesday morning the 25th corps moved by regiments to the regret 
of all, both white and colored. As we moved down Main street to 

Broad, 1 could hear what the rebels said as they stood on the comer! 
in the drenching rain. They expressed their feelings freely, saying 
■ We never were protected until the colored troops came here. Tin •. 
treat us better than our own troops did." Wc moved in the drenching 
rain and marched on the Petersburg turnpike within two miles of Pe- 
tersburg. Nothing of interest occurred up to the 10th of April, when 
we received (he terrible news that President Lincoln was dead. II' 
was stricken down by the hand of the assassin on Friday evening 
April 14th, 1865, while in company with his family at Ford's Thcatn . 
in Washington, J>. C. The fatal shot was tired by John Wilkes Booth 
This was four years after the opening shot was fired upon Fort Sump- 
tcr, and on the very day when the same old union flag that was then 
taken down again floated over the Fort. This good and God-fearing 
President died on the morning of the loth of April at half-past seven 
o'clock, and lie bore to heaven the fetters of four millions of slavi . 
and 1 think 1 can hear him say to the Father of all good spirit 
■ Tier ,ue they that came up* through great tribulation." He was 
meek, like tic Lord and Savior, and forgave hi.- enemies t" the last 
I fane) I can almost bear him say in his dying moments, " Father 
forgive tic in for they know not what they do." No clas; of pcopli 
fi i I In death as tin culured pcx/pita do, for wc have lost the he. t friend 
wi had on earth, our great deliverer, lie lias done all a President 
could do for tin poor colored race, and in speaking of him Kt mi 
i on< lui 'on tdopt the language of the poet : 

. p bravi -.'■ .i dor, i li ep : 

Thy toil &i i o'< i 

Around the li earn 

'.! i ., here p irtinj i. no mori 

Mum! tin 25th instant wc loft camp near Petoi bui foi Camp 
Lincoln near City Point, whon we lead a sort of idle camp life until 
tin Gth of June, when the 25th corp . I < division, 2d brigadi n 
cived ordci to inarch to the City Point wharf, and there wo halted 

and laid down until the i 'niug of the 7th inst. and at o'clock cm 

barked ou board the Dc Molay, bound for Norfolk. General Ru 'I' 

iii>l t.iif en ii board and bid our office] — I bye. Col W. B 

Woo tci ulso cann and saw a off Wc left many kind and weepiug 



29 

friends standing on the wharf bidding us God speed, and wishing us a 
safe return. As these friends stood on the wharf they waved their 
handkerchiefs and cheered us until their voices were lost in the dis- 
tance, and we were gliding swiftly down the James. Wc reached 
Fortress Monroe at 5 P. M., and then proceeded to Norfolk We 
spent the day <piite pleasantly. Col. Sadrick and the officers generally 
were in the best of spirits. The only lady on board was the wife of 
Captain Smith. The 9th U. S. regiment was the regiment selected 
by the commanding Colonel to accompany the 1st division, lid brigade, 
25th corps, but they greatly violated their trust in the harbor at Nor- 
folk, and endeavored to commit a mutiny. Some of the leaders of this 
mutiny were arrested, and among them were Sergeant Daniel Elslcy, 
and six others. The men generally were unru'y, and repeatedly 
threatened my life, saying that I favored the officers taking them to 
Texas. The general life of the men was swearing, gambling and 
dancing. Wc arrived at Norfolk at 8 P. M. and anchored for the 
night. With a burdened heart I laid down in the hinder part of the 
ship, while the starry decked heavens formed my covering. While I 
lay thinking of my beloved family and many kind friends I fell asleep, 
and had pleasant dreams of home and loved ones there, which were 
very soon disturbed by a row among the men in the forward hatch, 
who had been put under guard because they refused to obey orders. 

The morning of the 8th the sun rose beautifully. Everything was 
quiet on board and the day past off pleasantly. The 9th found us still 
in harbor, and the men again endeavored to be unruly. The cause of 
their uneasiness and all the disturbance was this : they thought the 
officers were going to take them to Cuba and sell them, and the reason 
they continually threatened me was because they thought I knew all 
about it. But I held my passion and allowed them to think as they 
pleased. I give great praise to Col. Gennett of the 9th U. S. regiment 
for the manner in which he endeavored to find out the leaders of the 
mutiny. I kept a strict lookout and put my trust in God. 

On the 10th instant I visited Norfolk, and found the colored people 
.generally doing well. I met with Rev. J. M. Brown, of the A. M. E 
Church, one of my old friends. He treated me very kindly, and w< 
spent a pleasant time together. He introduced me to some of the 
brethren of the church. On the 11th, by general order, I went to 
Fortress Monroe and got the mail and remained there all night at a 
boarding house. The morning of the 12th inst. I returned to Norfolk 
and went on board the transport De Molay in the evening, and found 
all glad to see me, both officers and men. Sabbath I visited the 
churches in Norfolk, and was much pleased to hear Elder J. M. Brown 



30 

in the morning, I was also greatly pleased to see the Sabbath School, 
numbering 800.; they sang beautifully. At d 1'. M. I preached mi 
board the transport to the officers and men dt' the 9th l\ S. regimi al . 
my text was "Fur the wages ut' sin is death," and -'mil attention wa 
given by all. I hail an appointmenl to preach to Rev. -I. M. Brown's 
people, but 1 gave the appointment tu Rev. Dr. Garnet of Washing- 
ton. The officers and Chaplain of the 9th Colored regiment went in 
hear him; he spoke must delightfully from the passage ••lam and 
peak tu that young man."' On Monday, the L3th inst., I visited 
Portsmouth and found the colored people there doing well and en- 
gaged in many ways to procure a living. I found some of the 29th 
boy.s in the hospital. On Tuesday I again went to Portsmouth and 
spent a part of the day. and then went over to Norfolk and back to 
Portress Monroe, where I met many of my old officers of the 29th, 
and as usual, all were glad to SCC U1C. The 29th was then on the 
transport Blaekstone, then hiving in the harbor opposite the fort. 
When I passed in the mail gtpamer the men gave me three cheers. 
At 7 1'. M. I returned I i Norfolk and wcnl on hoard the Dc Molay. 
On Wednesday, the 11th inst.. wc weighed anchor and soon the D< 
Molay was stemming the tide; we wont to Portress Monroe and joined 
the rest of the transports of the fleet, five in number. Wc remained 
there two hours for me to get the mail, and li 1'. M. found us hound 
for Texas, where wc expected to arrive in fifteon days. We passed 
Cape Hattcras light house at 5 P. M., and the ocean was calm and 
beautiful. Wc passed Cape Henry light house at I P.M. Thursday 
morning, the L5tli inst., found us out of sight of land, and we wen 
much amused at seeing the sun 40nic up out of the groal waters. W< 

had a pleasant sail, the .--a was calm and beautiful and the office! 

amused themselves by fishing, and caught some six foot in length 
Friday morning, the L6th, all well on board, we were greatly im- 
pr< ed witb the wonderful power of God, as it was manifc ted on 
i very hand. W'e were sailing due east with afresh breeze Tie 
only thing that had boon visible for two day was a small schooner ofl 
to the right. The 17th in - 1 w a quite Lot on hoard the transport a 
the sea wa calm, [u the evening wo had a Bhowcr. Saturday, thi 
I -ih. wo wore till out at sea and out <<\' sight of land. The daj 
d off nicely ; the sea continued calm, and as yet Iliad not been 
el., which wa |uii< remarkable for me. [The night of thi L8th 
w.i cool and c|. ir, and wi di covered u light ofl to the right Aftci 
tap I ""ii lay m< down ou thi deck. 

Sabbath mottling, the LOtb lust . wa beautiful and char with a 
I brei ■ - ' I " ■ tilori put out all sail, and to thi joj of botb 



31 

officers and men, we were able to see the land of Newfoundland coast 
We past Gibralter light house at the inlet, at 9 o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the 19th inst. Amidst the pleasant scenery of the voyage, my 
thoughts ofttimes turned to my beloved family and friends at home, sep- 
arated from me by the great waters rolling between. The 20th inst., it 
was still clear and calm, and found us sailing off the coast of Florida 
.Reefs. 

We passed the 29th regiment, which was on board the transport Black- 
stone that had been disabled and was laying at anchor, but when we 
came alongside, they got up steam and followed us, and on the morn- 
ing of the 21st, she was close in sight. We saw a great many small 
sail boats. The 22d found us oft the coast of Alabama, and in the 
evening we were out of sight of land. Notwithstanding we had been 
at sea only seven days, we began to be anxious to get on land, which 
we expected to gain in two days more. On the 23d the men began 
to get restless, and complained bitterly when the water gave out and 
we had to drink condensed water. Those being accustomed to sea- 
sickness were generally well up to this date; there were only 10 sick 
<mt of 750 men and 25 officers. 

The officers generally amused themselves by fishing, and they 
caught some of the largest kind. The 25th found us still on the De 
Mo-lay, out of sight of land. The officers spent quite a time on board 
the De Molay, the night of the 25th. Thinking it to be the last night 
they gave vent to their feelings, and kept up until 3 A. M. They 
would not sleep, and would not let any one on board sleep. The chap- 
lain of the 9th TJ. S. endeavored to get them to stop, but they went 
on more vigorous, seeming to be gratified that they found some one they 
could annoy. They went on until they finally fell asleep. The morn- 
ing of the 20th found us in Mobile Bay in siffht of Fort Warren. 
There were a great many transports laying in the harbor. 

We were glad to see land. Fort Gaines lay at our right and Fort 
Morgan at our left. After we passed these forts we turned and 
anchored at 10 A. M. The scenery around the Fortress was beautiful. 
The cim boats lay in the stream in great numbers. We hoped to gain 
camp here at Mobile, but at 12 M. our hopes were blasted by an order 
from Colonel Sadrick to go to New Orleans. We hoped to gain that 
place in two days sail. We passed the light-house on the right and 
the scenery was most delightful: we frequently saw groups of small 
trees growing by the edge of the water. We glided down the stream 
and soon found ourselves wrapt in the shades of night, which was 
beautiful to behold, and like nature we were soon wrapt in the arms 
of sleep, and all cares of the world were over. 



32 

The morning of the :27th found us generally well and in good 
■pints. We were out of sight of land. The day was beautiful. Nothing 
of interest occurred, hut the u-ual sport of fishing by the officers. At 
»i P. M. we hove in sight of land and entered the channel leading up 
to New Orleans. At 8 P. M. we anchored for the night. The morn- 
ing nf the 28th was beautiful and clear We passed a great many 
small vessels and at 9 A. M. came in sight of Port Jackson and Fort 
Phillips. When a signal was fired from the fort we had to come tun 
until we were boarded by an officer from the fort, who informed Col 
Sadrick that the 2d division could not go to New Orleans, neither 
could any of the officers or men be permitted to go without a general 
order from General Grant. This was quite a shock, as the officer 
and men had greatly anticipated spending some time in New Orleans 
The officers permitted us to go up to the fort, but no! to disembark 
without orders. There we were compelled to lay on board until the 
Colonel could telegraph to Washington to General Grant. We had run 
out of coal, wood and oil, and the transport Blackstone was disabled, 
on which was the 29th colored regiment, and could n.it go any farther. 
Fort Jackson is a large construction, mounting seventy guns of the 
largest calibre. The ravine round the fort is two miles long and \ei\ 
trongly fortified. At this fort were a great many alligators, and we 
went on shore and amused ourselves by catching them until prevented 
by the guard around the fort. Fort Phillips lies opposite Fort Jackson 
on the right of the Mississippi, and is the place where the rebels com- 
mitted the great outrage on the colored soldiers. It is a large fort 
mounting sixty lar«_'e iruns and the small one.- 1 did not number, but 
there were a great many of them. The LOth I'. S, heavy artillery 
was guarding these forts and looked well. 1 could not help thinking 

of the cruelly that had been done to the poor Colored soldiers here at 

this spot ; although a month had passed it was fresh to me. 

At fi o'clock on the evening of the 29th the despatch came from 
General Grant to Col. Sadrick to take the Blackstone and go to New 
Orlean and get her repaired, and get coal and oil. Nothing but the 
taff officers wore allowed to go along. This caused some dissatisfac 

lion, but they had to submit. The 29th wa- landed at Fort Phillips, 

and "ii Saturday the 30th inst, with Col. \V. lb Wooster of the 29th, 
Lieut. Col. Torance, Adjutant Spalding ami lady, Lieut. Loonard ami 
lady, Capt. Griswell ami lady, Lieut \|. I> Lee, ami a lew more ol 
i he 29th officers, \\e proceeded up the Mississippi towardi New < Irlean 
Their wire but three colored men allowed to go; these belonged t" 

i '"1 1 Sadrick 1 headquarters, and I was ono of the lucky men. The 

laj pi ed \>t\ plcn antrj I '"1 W B Woo ter baving bi tring 



33 

band on board; in the evening the officers got up a dance, and amused 
themselves until a late hour, when we laid down to sleep, resting se- 
curely in the arms of hope. The morning of the 31st at six o'clock, 
found us at the wharf in New Orleans. I proceeded with Col. Sadrick 
and staff to the St. Charles hotel, where they took rooms. This was 
one of the largest and best hotels in the city, and a great many officers 
stopped there. I was much pleased with the hotel, but it being Sab- 
bath I left and started to find the house of God ; that was the dispo- 
sition of my mind. Very much to my surprise when going up Con- 
gress st. I met a colored friend, and I asked him if he could tell me 
where the minister of the A. M. E. Church stopped. He pointed to a 
door and said "In there." I went in and to my surprise and joy found 
Rev. William A. Dove, one of my old friends. Ho treated me very 
kindly, and I took a seat and we had a chat over old things, while he 
was getting ready for church. I told him I wanted a place to board, 
and up to this time I had no breakfast. He took me to sister Vance's 
and introduced me ; she made me welcome and got me a good break- 
fast; I found her to be much of a lady. I went to church and found 
Rev. Mr. Dove on the stand and was much pleased with his discourse 
from the passage of scripture, " But having faith wo can withstand the 
wiles of the Devil :" he did justice to the subject. In the afternoon I 
went to the same church at 4 o'clock to hear one of the natives of New 
Orleans; his text was in Numbers, "IfGodbeGod, serve him; if 
Baal, serve him." He did well. The appointment was then given 
out for me to pre_ach in the evening at 7 o'clock. I went according to 
appointment and found the house crowded to excess with all classes, 
both white and colored, very eager to hear the soldier. I took my 
text in Isaiah, 3d chap. 10th verse, "Say ye to the righteous that it 
shall be well with him." We had a good time; surely the Lord was 
with us and blessed us, and I felt the power of my station. When we 
adjourned I went to my lodging place at Mrs. Vance's. 

On Monday, the 1st of July, I was visited by some old friends from 
Philadelphia — Dr. Rock, Prof. Seymore, Prof. Murray and the choris- 
ter. We all met at Capt. Ingram's and spent some time together. I 
was glad to meet them and they to meet me. We parted and met 
again at 3 P. M. at dinner and spent a good time. After dinner I 
went out to visit the citv and made several very pleasant calls. 

Tuesday, the 2d, I again met my friends at Mrs. Vance's, and spent 
a part of the day. I often went to the St. Charles hotel to see my 
officers; and Wednesday, the 3d, the Colonel informed me that we 
should leave the next morning. Accordingly the next morning. 4th 






34 

>t Jul}', we went on board the Blaekstone. The only demonstration 
made in honor of the great national day w;u- the firing of cannons on 
the gnn boats. At 8 o'clock we were stemming the rapid tide down 
the Mississippi. When we were six miles from New Orleans the trans- 
port took fire and caused great confusion among both passengers and 
crew. The little life boats were lowered and all the ladies got into 
them hut .Mrs. Torance, and she stood on the deck to watch the result. 
Winn the word was given that the tire was out, and when the confu- 
sion was over we got up steam and went on our way rejoicing. We 
arrived at Fort Phillips at "> P. M., got the balance of the 29th regi- 
ment, and then went to the De Molay, laying at the mouth of the inlet 
which we reached :it 8 1'. M., and went on board. We waited until 
the morning of the 5th inst. and then goi up steam and started for 
Brazos Santiago, Texas. The gulf was very rough, and T was taken 
sick soon after we started. The 6th inst. found me still sick. The 7th 
we reached Brazos and disembarked, and the moment T got on shore 1 
was better. Brazos has a miserable sandy beach. At that time the 
headquarters of the 25th corps were standing in water knee deep. We 
remained at this post two days. It was the most miserable place I 
ever saw A Here our suffering just commenced. The colored troops 
were landing hourly almost famished for the want of water, and it was 
cruel no water was provided but condensed water, and hut little of 
that. Th'e poor Boldiers suffered greatly, for the means of making 
condensed water were so limited that not more than 5,000 could be 

applied at one time, and there were more than In, dim) soldiers there, 
ami for what we did have we paid ten eents per canteen. The troops 
were kept on forage during th< ir two days stay at this point. The v th 
inst. 1 went to the landing and the Mexicans had got a boat and 
brought barrels of water out of the Rio Grande, and the Provost Mar- 
shal had given them a guard of colored men to sell the water to the 

soldiers for ten cent.- a canteen. Col. Sadrick became indignanl at the 

ituatipn of his command and the fare tliey had to put up with, and 

w< nt in the commanding General, Weitzel, and asked permission to 
move his troops from Brazos, which was granted, and in the evening 
of the 8th in ' we took up our line *<i' march for White Ronch on the 
Rio Grande, a distance of ten miles, where we arrived at 1 A.M. \\ c 

had hard march through mud up to Our knees, and water in miimc 

places four feel deep and a mile long. When we arrived at While 

Rcnofa the poor soldiers were al b1 famished for the want of water. 

1 1 1 ■ I tin v rushed on to the hank, it gave way, and seven of the third 
division were drowned. The Rio Grande is noted for the rapidity of 
it- waters and i- always muddy. We *oon wenl to sleep and in the 



35 

morning I arose early, and the first object that attracted my attention 
was a drowned man floating down the stream. When the sun rose I 
took a look over the country and not a tree was to be seen as far as the 
eye could behold, and in fact we had not seen a single one in our ten 
miles march from Brazos to White Bench. We remained in camp the 
9th hist, until 5 P. M. when the order was given to the 2d division to 
get ready to move to Brownsville, twenty-eight miles distant. At this 
time the sore trial began with both officers and men, about their knap- 
sacks and baggage ; not a horse could be furnished to the commanders 
or wagons either, except one to each regiment When the brigade was 
ready to move, Col. Sadrick came up to me and said, "Hill, you had 
better stay here with my things a few days as the roads are bad and 
very muddy; I will leave Lieut. Hamilton with you, and you can come 
up on the boat" Being somewhat fatigued I was glad to comply. 

When the division moved I stood and looked after the column until 
the line was lost to view, and then I returned to my lonely tent, and 
it appeared as if I were the only living man in Texas. During the 
evening some friends called on me from the 31st colored regiment and 
we spent the evening as pleasantly as we could, the theme of our con- 
versation being our beloved friends at home and our dissatisfaction at 
what we had seen of Texas. When my friends left for their camp I 
lay down on my lonesome bed to sleep, having the starry decked 
heavens for my canopy and the green oarth for my pillow. 

The morning of the 10th I arose at -1 o'clock, and as was my habit, 
I took a walk up the river. The sun arose beautifully and clear with 
a pleasant breeze. At 8 A. 31. the Lieutenant took breakfast, and 
while at the table said, " Mr. Hill, I am going to Brazos at 9 o'clock, 
and I want you to take charge while I am absent. I complied. After 
he left I began to feel more lonesome than ever and to think of my 
beloved family, until I became cpiite home-sick, and the day appeared 
like a week. In the evening, at 10 o'clock, the Lieutenant returned 
hungry and tired; after he had supper he said to mc, "We will not 
be able to get away from here for a week. I can get no transporta- 
tion." I enquired the cause; he said, "The roads arc so bad the 
wagons can't run, and we have but one boat running to Brownsville, 
and it is loaded down with rations for the men, as there are none at 
Brownsville." I thought this singular, but did not reply until he was 
through, and then I said, "Lieutenant, when did the brigade get to 
Brownsville?" he said, "They will get there this evening 801110111110." 
I was a disbeliever in the 29th not marching twenty-eight miles in 
two days when I knew them to march sixteen miles from 4 in 
evenine; until 2 in the morr.ing, and having marching orders at that, 



and went into a light the next morning at 6 o'clock. 1 had not for- 
gotten their marching ability, therefore it was a wonder to me why 
they should be so long going twenty-eight miles. 

I had sent the mail ahead, consequently 1 made up my mind to 
walk up next morning. In the evening there were a great many sick 
.soldiers returned that were unable to go through the mud and were 
therefore compelled to turn back. They Bpoke very discouragingly 
of the journey. 1 went for the doctor for some, and for others made 
tea and gave them something to eat. "When the poor soldiers that 
knew me found I was there, 1 never saw men so glad in my life. 
They had met me on the battle-field, and had seen the interest 1 had 
ofttimes taken in the sick and wounded soldiers, therefore they were 
satisfied 1 would see they were treated right and had something to eat. 
After 1 had seen them all attended to, I laid down to rest, it being late 
at night. 

The morning of the L2lh inst. eaine. I arose at 5 o'clock and got my 
breakfast and took my hooks and portfolio, bid the Lieutenant good-bye 
and started on foot for Brownsville. I thought of getting to my post that 
day, but I had not gone more than six miles before I saw my expecta- 
tions were blasted. It had not rained in this part of Texas for six 
weeks, and yet the mud in the roads was in places up to a man's knees 
and for miles hub deep. I was astonished to see the many Stragglers 
brewed all along the road. .Many of them died and were buried in 
the forest, with nothing to Look at their graves but the wild beasts of 
prey. 1 walked on until 1 I'. M . and was only ten miles front White 
Rcnch, the place I left. 1 sat down and ate my homely dinner alone. 
I bowed to God and thanked him I'm- bis goodness ami care over me 
and committed my family to his care. 1 then started nil my journey 
in. Being accustomed to smoking after eating] got sick going 

without it. not having any mat' lies or lire with whieh t" light my pipe. 

In all myjournej there was not a house to bo Been. 1 went on wish- 
ing in my mind that I had a light, and while 1 was walking I came to 

where the troops had halted and bad a fire in the road. There wer< 
two .-mall ohunks lying in the mad. 1 took one of them up and raid. 
■• I wish I had got here before this wont out." 1 blowed the chunk 

mi the end, and to in\ surprise, right in the heart was a live coal ol 

about a large as a hiokory-nut. I lit my pipe and felt thankful 
! irricd the chunk some ways, and thought the 'j<""\ Lord had pro 
vided tlii comfort of life for mo, when in o land of strangers and fai 
from home. 

When I left White Licucb in the morning, I bad two haversacks 
filled with rations, but I had by this time reduced them down to two 



\ 



37 

hard tacks, for I had met so many poor soldiers sick and givan out, left 
behind with nothing to cat. I shared with them until the last was 
gone. I found I would not be able to get to Brownsville that night, 
and I said to myself " What will I do for something to eat?" but 1 
thought the Lord would provide something for me ; therefore, I trust- 
ed in him as my provider and shield. The evening began to draw 
near and I was seven miles from Brownsville and two of that was water 
waist deep. At 7 P. M. I arrived at the first water, which was a run 
about eight rods wide and four feet and a half deep. Here I met with 
a large number of sick, worn and wearied soldiers; they were getting 
supper, and when they saw me they were made up and gave mc a nice 
supper. We all concluded to stop there over night, and cross the run 
in the morning. We soon laid down and I said " Boys, I don't think 
it proper for all of us to go to sleep, and I will take the first watch. 
This country don't suit mc." The men soon fell asleep, and I lay on 
the ground and looked at the beautiful moon, and listened to the many 
sounds of the great number of strange beasts of the forest. I laid 
there until 2 o'clock and was thinking^)f "my home and beloved friends, 
when my attention was aroused by a drove of dogs as I thought, com- 
ing through the bushes. I got up and then they began to howl and I 
found them to be a drove of Avolvcs. There was a stream of water be- 
tween them and us, and they would wade in a piece and then go back 
and howl. I then called the boys to " attention," and fifteen of them 
took their guns, and I gave the order "fire," and they fired into the 
drove of wolves, and I never saw such scampering in all my life. They 
howled and left, and the boys all staid awake the rest of the night 

The morning of the 15th came and they got breakfast and gave mc 
mine, after which we all started across the run and left our things; 
then I went back and carried a sick man over. I bid the boys good 
bye and then started on to Brownsville. I had travelled only two 
miles when I came to a pond of water about two miles long and about 
knee deep ; this we had to wade through ; it made mc very tired ; my 
limbs appeared as if they were pulling out of the sockets, but I got 
through and arrived in Brownsville at 12 M. I expected to find a 
town settled with people and where the true God was worshipped, but 
to my surprise I cou'd see nothing but little huts made of mud The 
natives arc very inferior, and dress very strangely. The men wear 
only a shirt and drawers, and when at work they roll their drawers up 
to their hips, and also go through the streets in that manner. " The 
women go through the day with nothing on them but a chemise and a 
thin skirt made of straw, their bosoms open and breasts exposed, and 
when one looks at them they seem to have no shame. I remained in 



38 



the to wn until 1 ,.V..,k and then pn, off for head.,™™ . »h« » 
,„-„ ,,,11,:- to the right of Brownsville. I reached there at 4 1 . M and 
,,, glad to see me I fonnd Ool. Sadriek wrthou. a ten. and to - 
^fte ground; I got .fie inch and had Mm a tout put up ft* 

",,„ 1 naiddownoutofd ,. The ground was covered mft 

Ss f, and what is called the horned toad, whrch has horns 1,1-, 

' ; ',„„,:, „,,,,„, o) beads aronnd its body; they look bold and eour- 
,r „:. These reptUes were nnmerons, with details of nrnsq^slrke 

;,,-, f bees. The morning -1' the 4,1, tost, fonnd me amto s.ck so 

,";7:..,lm. 1 had to -all to a doctor. He examined me and saul 
„tnrcd from the strato-of walking. I began to dechne n.,,1 

. ■. 3*. to gel ahont, 1 1 d I gave op m despattwhen 1 

, k a, „.v condition, liv, thousand miles from home and among 

"Irs wint a friend. My best friend, Jordan j ,s,of Co. K 

I Sclind. Tl m, f to *kIM-pa«-»-*- 

„.,. Ufl to the mercy of God and strangers. 1" the nudst o my 
,C S I had a kind physician. Dr. Perry, of the 11th US oolo«d 
. „„ , He treated me kinofy*Bd gave me the test of attenhon. 

S2 at my quarters nntil the 15th tost, and then my reg n. 

.., I to B rowns,iUe. The „ were w> b fa*g 1, < aptoan 

,;.h, ficer with very little feeling for a colored. .mar,- 

them through lay. «*. Frank Walker d.ed on, »«™ ttfft 

, ,, ,,,.,,.,1, ; ,„a great heat. Many more were B.ek and were ohlig. 
. ■ .... the "hospital. Ool.Woostorl»togamanoffeeUng»d 

, looked to thei , , ,t ,!„■ ,v,i and the wel ar ... * 

,,,, ItCapt. Clark under arrest and kept him Urerennta the Col 
!;, ,:,,.,. hr lays .fter^Col. left he ^..n^ok commando. 

,„; ■ frcmai 1 sick at my q •tors nnt.l Augu£ bW. 

Uen I was recommended to the War Department for my dachargobj 

.,,,. Col. Sadrick had an ambula. brougl II started to 

l ,„ bnt when I go. ,. Brownsville 1 was so near dead 
be mustered out, out wnen i go. I,,,.,,;.-,! w« 

that I was compelled to go to Uie general bosp.tol. r hu hosp.tol was 
tept under the direction of Dr. Major Stevens from Ph.ladelph,».o»d 

S ng edm the 29th colored reg at. The doctor treated mo w* 

,.',„ tkindne I( bos, ofattontioo . . . - ,- 

wU L the most brutal treatment (not torn, but to others , ■ 

... id inthi. hospital, four hundred of thai number 
vv , ,, .. ven hundred i, b m '." " [ 

NtZpitoUtotrd 1 »wore .ft - 1 anfceltog 

The .sick were dying ton per day, 1 before thoy -J"** 

. ,,, ^rd Id sooreh thorn, and toko wyftmg valuable thai 

J,,!,.. them before thoy re, I tbem d L - 



39 

sion there was a small boy, who had waited on some officer, that was 
quite sick, and one morning he was quite fretful. One of the ward 
masters went to him and struck him with a strap three blows, then 
took him up and made him walk to the door leading to the street,, and 
brought him back again and laid him down, and in one hour ho was 
dead, and the spirit had flown to the God that gave it. It would be 
impossible for me to tell the many instances of cruelty perpetrated on 
the poor sick soldiers by the hands of these colored stewards. They 
acted more like demons than human beings. The fare was also very 
bad ; we had two pieces of bread and a pint of coffee per day ; this we 
were compelled to put up with. I remained at this hospital two weeks 
and then asked the doctor to let me go to my quarters, which he 
granted, and I took the ambulance and again returned to the 25th 
headquarters. I remained there until a general order came that all 
detached men unable for duty should report to their regiments and be 
sent to the hospital. Therefore I went to my regiment, and to my 
regret when I got there my best friend, Col. W. B. Wooster had re- 
signed and started home. I went and reported to Adjutant J. Spauld- 
ing and he directed me to my company, where I went and reported to 
my orderly, J. Spencer, of Co. D. He gave me my quarters and I 
stayed there one week and then was put on detail to go to New Or- 
leans ; I got ready and we went to Brownsville, and the order was 
countermanded, and we returned to camp the next morning. There I 
was again detailed at the headquarters of the corps, where I stayed 
until the 20th of September, and then I had some words with one of 
the General's waiters, and I would not stay any longer and again went 
to my regiment, where I was at the time of writing this sketch. 

At this period of my stay in Texas joy began to spring up. We 
had just received news that the 29th regiment was ordered home. The 
men began to have the home-fever and it became general. Every day 
the men in camp had appointed to be mustered out of theU. S. service, 
but without avail. . At last the happy day arrived and all hearts were 
glad. On the 14th day of October, 1805, at nine A. M., Co. K was 
mustered out; Captain Thorpe was in command of Co. K at this time. 
Then came Companies C, E, and I) to which latter I belonged; II, G, 
E, B, and so on until the last company was mustered out. The occa- 
sion was one of note. Every man was orderly and sober. All were 
eageily waiting the order to strike tents for home, for that was the 
theme of every one's thoughts. We now hoped to leave Texas for 
home and trusted in God for our safe arrival. 

October 15th, the 29th regiment left camp Sadrick, Texas, for 
Brownsville, on their way home and were escorted through Browns- 



t ' 40 

villi' by the 9th D. S. regiment, Col. Bailey in command. "We marched 
to an open field where the battalion was halted by Col. Torance, and 
the officers and men of the 9th U. S. regiment took leave of the 29th. 
It was an impressive scene. The 9th and 29th had shared tfhe greatest 
dangers together, and fought side by side, and now they were parting. 
We shook hands and they bid us God speed. The headquarter band, 
Gen. Smith's, escorted us through Brownsville. The line of march 
was taken up again at 1<> A. BL The band played "And beneath the 
starry Hag we shall breathe the air again," until the footsteps of the 
29th were Inst in profound silence. The 48d U. S. left the same day. 
The day passed off pleasantly, although the roads were bad and oft- 
times the men were compelled to wade in water and mud waist deep. 
the thoughts of going home made the march seem easier than any other 
we had been in. No one can experience the feelings of a returning 
soldier but one that has been a soldier. T was left sick at Brownsville, 
unable to march when the 29th left, consequently I went on the boat 
down the Rio Grande with the sick. Wednesday the 15th, we left 
Brownsville. After sailing down the Rio Grande, night overtaking 
US, we were compelled to land on the Mexican side and stay all night. 
It stunned all uight and we spent a disagreeable time. 

The next morning, the 17th, we passed Clarksville on the Mexi- 
can side, and landed at Brazos, and camped on the sand [all night : 
the air was clear and cool. We had a rough time coming from Clarks- 
ville to Brazos outside, and came near being lost, but we landed safelj 
at 1 P. .M. The 20th was clear and cold the 22d (J. 8. troops left 
Brazos <»n a transport for New Orleans. The 21st was pleasant. The 

li'Jd found US Still waiting for transportation. At this poinl 1 had a 
chance to see all of our sick, numbering forty-eight. 1 was called at 
2 o'clock to go and see Chancey Douglas of Co. C, 29th regiment. II- 

was very sick, but 1 gave him good counsel and he got better and was 
able to come along at 12 M. when we embarked on board the trans- 
port Alabama, and al I P. M. we weighed anchor.' bound for New Or- 
leans. The 24th, the gulf was ee rough that we could not sail, and 
were compelled to anchor on account of the gale. We weighed anchor 
again :it v A M. on the morning of the "J. r >th. bound for Galveston, 
Texas, where we arrived at 1 1! M. We found Gal veston a splendid city. 
four hundred and fifty miles front New Orleans. Sere we took in 

w 1 ami coal, and in the evening visited the city and the church, 

there. One of the soldiers of Co. II died, by the name of Davis; how 

true that " In the midst of life we are in death." Dr. 1 1 \ ■ 1 < deservei 
grcal credit for the consideration he showed, He got a nice plain 
coffin, the onl\ one I had seen for four months for a colored soldier. 



41 

\ 

The night of the 2oth we were in a dreadful gale off Cape Horn, so 
much so that the pilot was compelled to lay by all night in "the harbor. 
It was the most severe storm I ever witnessed. We put out to sea in 
the morning but were compelled to turn back. The soldiers were quite 
unruly while we lay at Galveston, so much so that Col. Torance was 
compelled to have the transport hauled off from the wharf, and some 
of the men were left ashore that went off without leave. The 2Gth we 
started again for New Orleans, but we were compelled to come back 
and lay in the harbor ; we came near being lost, but God was with us. 
The 27th we again started, bound for New Orleans, where we arrived 
on the 28th inst, at 7 A. M. We had a hard time and often thought 
i* was our last, but the good Lord was with us. We went off the 
transport Alabama the same day we arrived, and marched to the south 
side of the city and encamped on an open lot, and put up our shelters 
the best we could and laid on the ground. The night was cold and 
chilly; we suffered a great deal and many took sick. 

The 29th inst. was the Sabbath, a most beautiful day. I remained 
in camp. On the 30th I visited the city of New Orleans and found a 
great number of my old friends-. The first annual session of the A. M. 
E. Conference was in session, Bishop Campbell presiding. I spent a 
good time with the brethren. The 31st was a pleasant day and I was 
in camp. Wo remained in New Orleans two weeks. On the night of 
the 10th of November a man of Co. K was shot. There was quite an 
excitement in camp on account of it. Wc broke camp on the 11th 
inst. at 11 o'clock, and marched through the principal streets of the 
city and halted at the wharf, where the transport Champion laid to 
take us on board. 

There was quite an excitement in the city of New Orleans. While 
the drum corps played a national air; at G o'clock wc commenced to 
embark on the steamer Champion, and by o'clock all were on board 
ready to weigh anchor and stem the current of the Mississippi river. 
The morning of the 12th found us at the mouth of the river, and we 
were overtaken by a storm which lasted several days. On the 14th 
the sea was so rough that it broke over the hurricane deck. On the 
15th inst. we had a pleasant sail; we passed the rebel ram Stonewall. 
Friday, 15th, head wind. Saturday, 17th, was pleasant, and the first 
calm day wc had. Sunday, the 18th, was clear and cold. The 19th 
inst. wc encountered a storm off Cape Ilattcras, which lasted until the 
21st. At 12 o'clock the wind changed and drove us ahead with great 
rapidity, and on the 22d, at 9 A. M., to the joy of all on board, we 
arrived in New York Harbor. We remained on board the Champion 
until 2 P. M. and then marched off the transport and paraded through 



42 



the i riBCH il streets of the city and wore received with gratitude amid 

.', i! ,,; from the citizens. The boys of the 29th were feeling some- 

hat indignant in referenced the treatment they received from their 

., ;. QOi giving them their rights But we forgol it for the time, 

from tbe manner in which the citizens of New York received us 

V. we paraded down Broadway, opposite the St. Nicholas hotel, the 
c . Council run out the national and state colors, borne by a colored 
ma n When the boys looked up and S aw the colors, they gave three 
trcme ndous cheers. We wcnl dow* Rroadway to the Park and 
iu:n ,,. n , a intn e barracks, where wo were decently accommodated with 
refreshments and hospitality. 

We remained in New York until the 23d; and at i A. M. we 
raarcbed to the steamboat landing where the steamer Granite State was 

waiting to take us up the East River, to Hartford, a distam one 

Ldre°d and fifty miles. The Granite State struck on ^abar and was 
unable to arrive at Hartford until the morning of the 24th J * . The 
villageB were illuminated on our way. On the morning of the 2oth 

we arrived at Hartford, and a gM *r< ption. was made for us We 

nM through the principal streets and encamp* Ion an open lot in 
Z south partof the city, until the morning of the 26 h inst. , at 8 
JeloXwhen we were ordered to "fall inland were paid off in part 
Awards the men broke ranks and returned to their horn 



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